“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” is one of my very favorite songs of the season. When it’s time to roll out the Christmas music it is always one of the first songs I want to hear. Because aside from all the hustle and bustle and cheer and goodwill and gifts and parties and…(you get the point…the list could go on and on)…for me, it is also “the most wonderful” because it is such a great time to look back and reflect. Another year almost done. What have we accomplished? What is still to do?
As I reflect professionally I see tremendous outcomes and accomplishments for Blakeford. We have been honored to serve our residents, clients and members for yet another year. It is a gift we do not take for granted. Now we approach a new year knowing that it will bring many exciting things for Blakeford! We’ll be sharing more about that in coming weeks so be sure and check back here regularly.
However, my greatest sense of pride regarding Blakeford may come from the ever developing sense of COMMUNITY that is a part of our organization. Second Sunday in December is one example of those great COMMUNITY moments. It is Blakeford’s annual Holiday Open House. On this day for the last 14 years, our residents, clients, and members, their families and friends, along with our amazing team and many of their family members all come together in one place to celebrate the season and, at the same time, celebrate the essence of our COMMUNITY.
I recently ran into someone whose resident connection to Blakeford had passed away during 2015. He asked me if it would be ok to bring his kids to Blakeford for Holiday Open House. He didn’t want them to miss the sense of COMMUNITY and belonging that is at the heart of what makes this organization so special. Of course I said, “Come on!”
My own kids have grown up experiencing not just that one event, but the ongoing sense of COMMUNITY at Blakeford. This year for Holiday Open House we had four “Blakeford Babies” that had been born this year, as well as other little ones who are fast growing up. Our team members brought them to Open House, not just to show them off (although there was plenty of that), but so their family at home and their family at Blakeford could experience the essence of COMMUNITY. All those kids will be like my two…they’ll grow up knowing what happens on the second Sunday in December. And yes, there is always lots of pinched cheeks and hugs and kisses…but at the heart of all of that is knowing that this COMMUNITY brings us together. And then, even when things may happen during the year that challenge us, it is so refreshing and reinvigorating to know that at the heart of it all, we are all a part of an amazing COMMUNITY.
It is true when we say, “At Blakeford, we extend the same spirit of belonging to all!” I hope your holidays are amazing and know that 2016 will be our best year yet!!!
Van Cluck, CASP, serves as chief executive officer for Blakeford, Inc. where he oversees the strategic direction for the corporation which includes Blakeford at Green Hills, Blakeford at Home, and LiveWell by Blakeford.